Dominance Start to Finish

West Virginia's smothering defense never gave Marshall a chance to get a breath as the Mountaineers reeled off their 16th consecutive win with a 74-42 throttling of the Herd on Wednesday night in Charleston.

West Virginia's defense, a strong point all season, was on display from the outset. WVU held the Herd to just five first half field goals and 21.7% shooting from the field as the Mountaineers raced out to an early 15 point lead. After that, it was just a matter of naming the final score, and it ended up being a 32- point margin and total dominance in all phases of the game.

West Virginia harassed Marshall early and often on the defensive end, forcing numerous turnovers with strong pressure on the perimeter. WVU had 15 steals, and the Herd had seven more miscues to result I 22 turnovers on the night. That lead to a big disparity in shots and possessions, with WVU getting off 58 tries against only 43 for their opponents.

"Our defense is something that Coach Carey is always on us about," said Mountaineer Korinne Campbell, who has 14 points, eight rebounds and three steals in an outstanding effort. "Even when we are up [by 30] he is going to let us know about each and every mistake."

Those were few and far between on an in evening in which WVU took control early and never let go. Shooting 44% from the field overall, and nearly matching that with a 7-16 performance from three point range, West Virginia dashed out to a 21-6 lead and lead 32-18 at the half. After opening the early lead, Vanessa House and Liz Repella had back-to-back three pointers late in the stanza to push West Virginia's lead to 19 points, leaving the second half as little more than an exhibition.

WVU was once again balanced on offense, with four players in double figures and all but one participant getting into the scoring column. House, whose first half three-pointer was "a little out of my range", finished with a game-high 16 points, while Asya Bussie and Campbell added 14 apiece. Dependable pint guard Sarah Miles added 11 points and four assists. Madina Ali played a ferocious defensive game, pulling down 12 rebounds, blocking two shots and recording three steals, while Liz Repella showed signs of getting out of her shooting slump with nine points on the strength of 2-5 shooting from three point range.

West Virginia dominance was evident across the stat book. The Mountaineers outrebounded the Herd by 44-27, parlaying 18 offensive rebounds into 10 second chance points, and held the Herd to just 32.6% shooting for the contest. WVU did not allow a Marshall three-pointer until Raechele Gray hit one with just 7:27 remained in the game.

West Virginia, in winning for the fifth consecutive time in the series, now holds a 33-15 bulge overall. The Mountaineers, ranked 11th in the nation, face #4 Notre Dame on Saturday, Jan. 24 in a nationally-televised contest on ESPNU.

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